Navigating the NY Subway

12th Night is playing in Central Park this summer for Shakespeare in the Park, and it's free! And, Anne Hathaway is playing Viola, my favorite character. So I've been excited to see it but trying to work it into my schedule so that I can go. See, the problem is that you have to get up early in the morning and wait in line for tickets - which they don't start giving out until 1 pm. But this is the last week it's running so an Agent I work with and I decided to try to get tickets this morning and go tonight.

I slept over in the city (I live in Philadelphia and commute - yay for reading on the train) at the apartment of a friend (who's an editorial assistant). I originally planned to head over around 7 am since I know someone who got tickets and had gotten there at 7:30 - I wanted to be on the safe side. But then, I heard from another person who went at 7:30 and was too late...

My alarm went off at 4:45 this morning, and I was out the door ten minutes later. Then the trouble began. I stopped in the office to grab some manuscripts to read while I was in line and walked to Penn Station to get the subway to the Delacorte Theatre. The blue ACE line heads uptown so I got on the A. Too late, I realized, the A is an express and it took me straight past Central Park. I had to get off the A and turn around and head back, which meant I passed the park a second time. Knowing I needed a local, I waited until the first local subway came - the E. I got on that. But the E doesn't go to Central Park, it veers east and head to queens. Once I realized this, only two stops, I got off and managed to catch the B - a completely different orange line - and it took me to 81st and Central Park West and I followed a couple people carrying chairs into the park to find the line.

It was 6:30 am.

The line seemed very long, but I've never done the Shakespeare in the Park thing and had no idea how long the line should be so I continued to wind around until I came to the end. Twice the park people came and moved pieces of the line where I was standing and I have no idea how it ended up affecting me. People bunched up and tried to cut other people, and it was a little chaotic, but ultimately I wasn't in much of a different spot than where I started. Around 8 am, a park guy came by and told us there was no way we'd get tickets. The cut off spot for vouchers (the people who might get in) was 200 yards in front of us. 200 yards! And those people had all been in line since 5:30 (the time I would have gotten to the park, had I figured the subway out correctly), and they still weren't even insured a ticket.

So I'm at work now without a 12th Night ticket. And I'm contemplating trying again tomorrow. But what time will I have to show up at the park? Because I'm not getting up early again tomorrow and leaving without a ticket - if I'm going, I'm going to commit. The question, I guess, is - Should I try to get to the park around 4 am or should I just cut say "oh well"?

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Unknown said...

Go! Why not? All you lose is sleep, but you gain Shakespeare!

Vickie Bauer said...

I say do it! Anne Hathaway is so worth it! I mean really it can't hurt to try just one more time. I think getting there at 4am is a smart move and then worst comes to worst cut. Just think of today as a story you'll have fun telling while you're in your seat waiting for the show to start tomorrow night :)

suzie townsend said...

Ugh, I should have gone this morning, but I would have had to get up and be at the train station by two am and I was too tired from working and not getting any sleep the night before.

If I could have stayed in the city last night and done it, I would have, but I had to go home which meant a 2 hour train ride at an awkward time. I'll be more prepared for next year though.

brizmus said...

I don't know you, but I love reading all of your reviews.
Anyway, sounds like hell. I say definitely go tomorrow and get there at 4!
Good luck1